Fat Science: Red Alert

Red Wine Might Retard the Growth of Fat Cells
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A compound recently discovered in red wine can block the
 growth of fat cells, according
 to new research from Purdue University. The study, published in a recent issue of the Journal
 of Biological Chemistry, focused on piceatannol, a compound found in red wine and also in grapes, blueberries passion fruit, and other fruits. When tested in the lab, researchers found that the molecule had a significant impact on the way fat cells grow and develop. Specifically, piceatannol blocks the cellular processes that allow immature fat cells to grow and develop into full-fledged cells—a process called adipogenesis that typically takes about 10 days or more. By binding to an early-stage fat cell’s insulin receptors, piceatannol inhibits insulin’s ability to modulate cell cycles and stimulate genes responsible for initiating subsequent stages of fat-cell formation. When piceatannol is present in the body, the study authors say, adipogenesis is delayed or even inhibited entirely.

This is just the latest study
to come out touting the benefits of red wine. Another compound, resveratrol, has long been claimed to fight cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Similar to piceatannol in chemical structure, resveratrol is, interestingly enough, converted to piceatannol once ingested. Cheers.

RefeRence: K.H. Kim et al., J Bio Chem, E-pub 2012, Jan. 26, 2012.

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